CRN HIGHLIGHTS SAVINGS FROM SUPPLEMENTS USE

The CRN Foundation’s Supplement to Savings report identified up to US$17.7bn in annual net savings between 2022-30 from the use of specific dietary supplements by at-risk target populations most susceptible to coronary artery disease (CAD). Throughout February, American Heart Month, CRN will amplify the potential of dietary supplements to reduce the health impacts and healthcare costs of CAD. The chapters on CAD focus on four supplement regimens: 

  • Average annual cost savings from the widespread daily use of preventative amounts of omega-3 fatty acids EPA+DHA could be US$4.47bn 
  • Regular use of magnesium by specific at-risk populations amounts to average healthcare cost savings of US$2.32bn per year 
  • Regular use of vitamin K2 by specific populations could generate estimated annual cost savings of US$9.48bn 
  • The average cost savings from increased utilisation of soluble fibre for heart-health effects is US$1.47bn per year 

Nicholas Hall Writes: We talk a lot about the ability of the CHC industry to reduce the overall cost of public health as well as improving access, but it’s always good to see hard figures with which we can agree or disagree. Even if these estimates are too high – which I’m not saying is the case – a saving of up to US$18bn from coronary artery disease alone, and an even more important saving of lives, are to be greatly desired. To quote Steve Mister, the CRN’s President & CEO: “Today, most of our healthcare resources are spent after people are already afflicted with an ailment. We hope the broader medical community will take notice and evaluate how supplements can enhance nutrition and improve the overall health of their patients.”

I like Steve Mister’s terrier-like defence of dietary supplements, which we witnessed a second time this week when he (rightly) criticised the FDA for its unwillingness to take responsibility for regulating CBD. It is one thing to say that existing regulations cannot provide a pathway for CBD, although one wonders why it took four years to reach this conclusion, but where then is the pathway? Unless the FDA takes hold of this emerging category, it will continue to display all the characteristics of the Wild West, when we are seeking to avoid a “Gunflight at the CBD Corral”. And until firm but fair regulations are put in place, we are unlikely to attract major consumer players to this sector.

Monitor the latest launches across VMS with our dedicated innovation benchmarking tool, CHC New Products Tracker, which features almost 40,000 launches, all graded with a star rating. Subcategories such as CBD, eye health, omega-3 and various herbal supplements are tracked, plus many others. To find out more, or to set up a demo, please contact david.redford@NicholasHall.com.

H&B REPORT: WOMEN’S HEALTH A TOP WELLNESS TREND IN 2023

According to Holland & Barrett’s (LetterOne) Wellness Trends Report 2023, areas of particular interest to consumers this year will include:

  • Women’s wellness – a big business in 2022 – will ramp up even further, with personalised solutions and FemTech founders continuing to help lead the revolution on breaking down taboos around menopause, menstrual health, fertility and more
  • Wellness tech gets personal. From patches tracking dietary biomarkers to carbon levels in the breath determining metabolic function, the future is all about using health data for optimum health. Health tech innovation is also becoming more focused on key target groups, such as those suffering from, or at risk of, chronic conditions
  • Sleep As well as vitamin D and magnesium, newly-trending ingredients include glycine, spearmint and plant polyphenols, EGCG and l-theanine. Meanwhile, consumers are keeping orthosomnia — the worry about getting enough sleep — at bay with remedies containing lavender, chamomile and CBD. There will also be an increase in smart tech to synchronise circadian routines
  • Ayurveda Ayurvedic remedies such as ashwagandha and curcumin, combined with scientific scrutiny, are experiencing a rise in popularity 
  • Beauty from within Collagen’s status as a skin-smoothing beauty superhero is here to stay, but people are also starting to understand the broader benefits, and younger customers are using type 2 collagen supplements to keep their joints in optimal health
To read the full report, click here

Nicholas Hall Writes: Last Wednesday we held the NHC Start of the Year Meeting at our Southend-on-Sea HQ. What a pleasure after three years to have 35 team members in the room and most of the rest of our global team dialing-in. One of our main objectives was to brainstorm a new Strategic Narrative for the CHC industry, which will drive our Global Trends roadshow after the new DB6 data is published in early April. And, of course, the Strategic Narrative will be at the heart of New Paradigms for CHC 2023, which we have just scoped and which will be published in July. As usual I will write almost every word of this completely revised 4th edition, supported by what I truly believe to be the biggest and best market analysis and creative solutions team in the CHC industry – 54 out of our total headcount of 65 plus numerous network partners, associates and freelancers.

And many of the overarching issues to be discussed in New Paradigms are illustrated in the latest edition of CHC.Newsflash: women’s health, MedTech and FemTech, lifestyle products, natural remedies, sustainability and China (reviewed at a time when Dr Nouriel Roubini warns us in his latest book, Megathreats, of the dangers of deglobalisation). And even before we publish the new report, I hope to meet as many of you as possible at our April conference in London, when we will give you a sneak peek of the new Strategic Narrative.

I will be joined on stage in London by speakers from PAGB, Haleon and Perrigo, plus other industry experts, for our 33rd European CHC Conference 19-21 April. Exploring The Future Resumed, you can review the full agenda or explore group booking options by contacting elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com.

CRN 2022 survey: Vitamin D in high demand

To mark World Vitamin D Day (2nd November), CRN published initial findings from its 2022 Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements, which was conducted (in collaboration with Ipsos) in August 2022 among 3,133 US adults aged 18+ years. This includes 2,342 who report consuming dietary supplements seasonally, occasionally or regularly. The survey highlighted the Top 5 single ingredient supplements (see chart below), while also indicating that more than half of consumers (52%) who take supplements report taking a specialty supplement, the most reported of which are omega-3s, probiotics, melatonin and fibre.

CRN states that many more people could experience enhanced quality of life, as well as healthcare cost savings, if they were to follow the dietary supplement regimens discussed in the CRN Foundation Supplements to Savings report. For example, if all US adults aged 50+ years took calcium 1,000mg and vitamin D 15mcg per day, the US healthcare system could save US$17.3bn and avoid 361,507 medical events on average per year from 2022–30. “A steadily growing body of clinical research shows investing in preventive care through supplementation helps Americans avoid chronic conditions. This strategy is what we call a no-brainer,” said CRN SVP Scientific & Regulatory Affairs Andrea Wong.

Nicholas Hall Writes: As CHC.Newsflash reported recently, overall supplement usage stands at 75% of the entire US population, an astonishingly high level. Multivitamins remains the top dietary supplement (taken by 70%) and reported consumption of immunity-boosting supplements – including vitamin D, vitamin C and zinc – remains steady vs last year. Immune health is a top reason for taking supplements (40%), second only to overall health & wellness (44%). Yet there is still room for more growth, which would benefit both individual consumers and our industry, and the healthcare system at large. According to CRN, the annual savings from wider usage of calcium and vitamin D could reach US$17bn.

This data joins a torrent of basically good news about consumer health that makes me think that we are at the beginning of a golden age for our industry, which is how I described our prospects when I gave the final presentation at the Ceuta London conference. We used to say that CHC was dependent on three main drivers of growth. It is true that the cough & cold market is once again boosting demand, but we now no longer rely on the Emerging Markets to the same extent, and Rx-to-OTC is virtually non-existent. No, it is the broader acceptance of self-care by the US and European population that is delivering the most impressive results this year.

In just over two weeks, you can log on to hear from Nicholas and industry experts during our Asia-Pacific e-Conference on 23 November! Topics on the agenda include the go-to-market model, self-care collaborations and sustainability through accessibility. For more information, or to register, please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com without delay.

CRN Survey: Branded ingredients favoured by VMS consumers

The Council for Responsible Nutrition has revealed initial findings from its 2022 Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements. The survey was conducted online in August 2022 among 3,133 US adults aged 18+ years, including 2,342 who report consuming dietary supplements seasonally, occasionally or regularly.

Liz Cummings, our Regional VP North America, reports from CRN’s Now New Next conference: 

US dietary supplement use has reverted to the pre-pandemic level of 75%, with multivitamins remaining the favourite among users. A wealth of regulation, science, economic and consumer insights was unveiled over the 3-day conference, which will be shared in future NHC publications. However, with CHC Newsflash highlighting the dynamic activity related to ingredients suppliers such as DSM, Kerry and ChromaDex, we thought it was timely to share the following results from the CRN survey: 

  • 71% of supplement users agree that they “find more confidence using supplements made with branded ingredients”
  • 62% perceived that supplements with branded ingredients cost more because they are more effective and better quality, and men were more likely to say that branded ingredients work better
  • 61% are willing to pay higher prices for branded ingredients. Adults aged under 55 years are willing to pay more for branded ingredients
Source: CRN / Ipsos

Nicholas Hall Writes: It seems we are awash with consumer research that confirms the importance of self-care, especially with regards to immunity, even though demand is returning to pre-pandemic levels. In many respects, consumers seem ahead of marketers (let alone regulators) in how they respond to the mega-trends of the day: the pandemics, economic pressures and the energy crisis.

As I wrote last week: “I see a paradox in matching this consumer U&A data with the relative failure of specific immunity products such as antiviral nasal sprays … So why is it that consumers who fear Covid-19, and who subscribe to the concept of immunity, are content to rely on, say, a multivitamin the category grew by 13.5% globally in Year 1 of the pandemic — and not divert to specialist products? I am still searching for an answer.” Another paradox is that, while the top CHC players are reporting excellent sales and the global sales data for the 12 months to June 2022 which we reported in late September is at a record high, retailers and e-Commerce platforms are reporting reduced traffic. And there are signs that many consumers are trading down to smaller packs or cheaper generics and private labels, which you would expect in a recession.

One of the joys of working in consumer health is its resilience. It truly is a “must have” category, but it is in the detail where we will make or lose our reputations. It seems that we must switch focus from macro-trends to the micro and to understand better what makes everything tick rather than the size of the clock. So, expect more springs, wheels and cogs to be presented in the autumn and winter months ahead.

Immune health is the focus of our recent Immunity hot topic report. With profiles of key brands across categories including antivirals, vitamins, foods & beverages and probiotics for immunity, our report explores the latest trends & developments, predicting likely future scenarios. To order your copy, or for further details, contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.

Covid’s lasting impact on immune health perception

A report from Dutch-based health ingredients company Nutrileads highlights the fundamental change in consumer views on immune health in the wake of Covid-19. The report draws on data gathered by FMCG Gurus from surveys conducted with 45,000 consumers in 15 countries from 2019-22. Not only is immune health significantly more important to consumers, it is also perceived to have a far-reaching impact on long-term health and wellbeing.

For two-thirds of participants, immune health is their top health priority over the next 12 months – more than any other issue including digestive and heart health. In addition, 78% view poor immune health as being easily susceptible to long-term health problems, while 40% are taking a proactive approach to their immunity, even if they believe they are in good health. Consumers also expect more from immune health products; the top three claims they want to see on the product label are scientifically validated and clinically-proven (82%), multifunctional benefits (79%) and helps lead a healthy lifestyle (79%).

Comment from Nutrileads CEO, Joana Carneiro: This research shows us that the experience of living with the pandemic is likely to have a lasting effect. Consumers are more knowledgeable about immune health and place more importance on improving it on the longer term.

Nicholas Hall Writes: “The latest research gives us a better understanding of consumer perception of immunity after 2.5 years of Covid, and the sustained interest in using dietary supplements. But I still see a paradox in matching this consumer U&A data with the relative failure of specific immunity products such as antiviral nasal sprays … So why is it that consumers who fear Covid-19, and who subscribe to the concept of immunity, are content to rely on, say, a multivitamin – the category grew by 13.5% globally in Year 1 of the pandemic – and not divert to specialist products? I am still searching for an answer.”

In just over a month, you can log on to hear from Nicholas and industry experts during our Asia-Pacific e-Conference on 23 November! Topics on the agenda include the go-to-market model, self-care collaborations and sustainability through accessibility. For more information, or to register, please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com.

Two Rx-to-OTC allergy switches approved by FDA

In a clear sign of a more favourable attitude to Rx-to-OTC switch, the US FDA last week approved two new allergy products for non-prescription use.

Lastacaft alcaftadine ophthalmic 0.25% solution (Allergan / AbbVie) is now available without a prescription online and in retail stores for individuals aged 2+ years with ocular allergies. As demonstrated in clinical studies, one drop works in as little as three minutes to provide relief from itchy eyes for up to 16 hours. Following the recent FDA Rx-to-OTC switch approval, the original patented prescription-strength formulation of Lastacaft is available in a 5ml multidose bottle containing a 60-day supply, as well as a twin pack with two 5ml multidose bottles.

Perrigo also received final approval last week from the FDA for the OTC use of Nasonex 24HR Allergy (mometasone furoate monohydrate 50mcg). This marks the first branded Rx-to-OTC switch for the company, which expects to begin offering the nasal spray later this year. Nasonex is a registered trademark of Organon and is used by Perrigo and its affiliates under licence.

Nicholas Hall’s Touchpoints: This development will no doubt lead to an increase in switch activity after House and Senate committee members cited concerns that “very few products in recent years have switched from prescription drugs to nonprescription drugs” and pointed out that the FDA is expected to “meet the goals of the Fall 2021 Unified Agenda and publish and subsequently finalise the proposed rule titled Nonprescription Drug Product with an Additional Condition for Nonprescription Use.”

The appropriations committees are also: “Concerned about dietary supplement products that are adulterated or misbranded, in particular with imported products. The agreement provides an increase of US$2mn in the FDA’s budget [US$6.1bn in total] to be used for inspections, as well as enforcement of the Dietary Supplement Health & Education Act of 1994”. My sense is that in the biggest market for both switch and dietary supplements, we could see a correction in the prevailing trend from treatment to prevention.

Take a look at the latest CHC innovations in our forthcoming 2022 edition of Innovation in CHC from CHC New Products Tracker. This report offers a look at Rx-to-OTC switch activity, as well as innovation by region, marketer and 20 individual countries. To pre-order your copy and save up to £1,350 with the pre-publication discount, or for further information on this report, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.

Unilever still seeking expansion in CHC

Pressure has been building on Unilever over the weekend, with Nelson Peltz’s activist hedge fund Trian Partners reportedly taking a position in the UK group’s shares, adding to the challenges facing CEO Alan Jope. The Unilever boss is already facing brewing shareholder discontent after its attempted takeover of GSK Consumer Health, and now confronts a fierce activist fund known for demanding streamlining and governance reforms at consumer goods groups including P&G, Sysco and Mondelez.

Following a third unsolicited bid for GSK’s Consumer Healthcare business last week, Unilever brought forward an update setting out its strategic direction. An extensive review by the Board to reposition Unilever’s portfolio into higher-growth categories concluded that the FMCG player’s future strategic direction lies in “materially expanding its presence in health, beauty and hygiene”. The company added that consumer health was a “highly complementary category, with good potential for synergies and a number of routes to build scale”.

As our CHC New Products Tracker tool indicates, the priority brand for Unilever over the past two years has been supplement Olly, which has been expanded beyond its initial US launch market into the key growth market of China. Unilever has also invested in NPD for fellow supplements SmartyPants and Liquid I.V., since acquiring both brands in 2020, as well as Derma brands Vaseline and Lifebuoy, and there is clear scope for Unilever to expand its CHC portfolio further both geographically and in terms of category focus.

Nicholas Hall’s Touchpoints: Unilever’s latest offer for GSK CH, received in December 2021, was for a total value of £50bn (US$68bn), which the GSK Board unanimously concluded “fundamentally undervalued the business and its future prospects”. Following the publication of Unilever’s strategy update, it initially looked like the company would make a sweetened offer. It stated: “GSK CH would be a strong strategic fit; 45% is in oral care and VMS — categories in which Unilever already has presence and substantial capabilities. OTC would be an attractive adjacent category, with the ability to combine Unilever’s consumer and branding expertise with GSK CH’s technical OTC capabilities.”

However, Unilever faced a growing backlash from investors, with its shares falling and ratings agency Fitch warning it could downgrade the company’s “A” credit rating if it proceeded with the deal, which would likely raise debt. A few days later, the company announced: “We note the recently-shared financial assumptions from the current owners of GSK CH and have determined that it does not change our view on fundamental value. Accordingly, we will not increase our offer above £50bn (US$68bn).

Unilever has laid its cards on the table though and will no doubt be on the lookout for another CHC target. Meanwhile, GSK maintains that the “focus remains on executing the proposed demerger, which is on track to be achieved in mid-2022”, although analysts note that the MNC may consider a deal worth around £60bn (US$82bn). It remains to be seen whether other suitors, potentially thought to include Nestlé and private equity, will make a move.

Innovation trends by region will be analysed in the latest edition of Innovation in CHC from CHC New Products Tracker. This report will also take a look at delivery format trends, offer the Top 100 innovations from 2021, as well as innovation by leading marketers. To pre-order your copy and save with the pre-publication discount, or for further information, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.

Global dementia cases set to triple

The number of people aged 40+ years with dementia could nearly triple worldwide from 57mn in 2019 to 153mn by 2050. This is according to a study of 195 countries funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, published in The Lancet Public Health on 6th January 2022. The projected increase is largely owing to the ageing population and population growth.

However, the study also looks at four risk factors – smoking, obesity, high blood sugar and low education – and highlights their impact on future trends. While improvements in global education access are projected to reduce dementia prevalence by 6.2mn cases by 2050, this will be offset by anticipated trends in obesity, high blood sugar and smoking, which are expected to result in an additional 6.8mn cases.

Nicholas Hall’s Touchpoints: This study was conducted by the University of Washington, and to quote the lead author, Emma Nichols: “We need to focus more on prevention and control of risk factors before they result in dementia. Even modest advances in preventing dementia or delaying its progression would pay remarkable dividends. To have the greatest impact, we need to reduce exposure to the leading risk factors. For most, this means scaling up locally-appropriate, low-cost programmes that support healthier diets, more exercise, quitting smoking and better access to education.”

Is there a role for consumer healthcare here? I believe there is! Not least, it is noticeable that herbal products sold for memory & brain health have been growing consistently during the past five years, with a spike in demand in 2020. Taking all channels of distribution into account, this category is valued at over a billion dollars, with the USA accounting for about 50% of sales. In Prevagen, it has produced a mega-brand, which is why both Reckitt and P&G have entered the fray. At a time of continuing interest in M&A, it’s encouraging to see that there are a number of CHC categories delivering substantial organic growth.

Herbal memory and brain health supplements will be reviewed in our forthcoming report, Herbals & Naturals, which will track the leading H&N marketers, highlight developments, sales and success strategies. To pre-order your copy and save up to GB£2,100, or for further information, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.

Immunity: DSM and Sprim reports highlight evolving consumer needs

According to The Immunity Report, recently published by DSM, some 40% of consumers now buy supplements online. This offers convenience, choice and the chance for shoppers to conduct their own research. The digital space also provides more opportunities for tailored products and services vs the broad support offered in-store. Some 76% of global consumers who find nutrition-genetic testing appealing would do it to improve immunity.

In the digital space, supplements can also be more easily tailored to consumers’ lives and habits via online subscription services, which would interest 62% of nutritional supplement users. These can be based on factors such as demographic, lifestyle or season. As well as tailored convenience for the consumer through immunity products suited to them, subscription services can help brands to keep connected with consumers beyond delivery and learn more about their needs over time. One of the interesting findings in the report was how “pill fatigue” among consumers has led to a surge in demand for other delivery formats like gummies, drink shots and stick packs.

Separately, a recent survey conducted by Sprim involving 1,000+ participants across USA, Mexico and Brazil found that, with the pandemic driving interest in immunity, there has been a profound rise in demand for supplements. However, in a saturated market, consumers are becoming more discerning with their purchasing power.

The Sprim report presented five key takeaways, providing a foundation for companies in the immune support category seeking to serve the needs of this evolving consumer:

  • 61% began or increased their purchasing of dietary supplements for immune support in the wake of Covid-19
  • Scientific / clinical trial evidence was the most important consideration when choosing an immune support supplement
  • Vitamins C & D are the most popular ingredients for immune health
  • While most consumers in Mexico & Brazil purchase their supplements from drugstores, those in USA primarily buy theirs from online mass market stores
  • Feeling “tired & rundown” is the #1 buying trigger for immune supplements across all regions

Now is your last chance to save up to 50% off several Reports titles as part of our special end-of-year Reports saleending on 31 December! To find out more, or to create your custom discounted reports package, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.

Global CHC market +2.6% in MAT Q3 2021

The latest update from Nicholas Hall’s CHC database, DB6, shows that in MAT Q3 2021, the store retail CHC market advanced by 2.6%, a continued improvement over results seen throughout the year (vs -0.6% and +1.7% for MAT Q1 and Q2 respectively).

  • Vitamins, Minerals & Supplements (+6.1%) maintains its position as the fastest-growing category, albeit at a slightly slower rate. Stabilising immune-associated segments still contribute to a healthy topline performance as consumers continue to bolster natural defences; this, coupled with improvements in other subcategories (notably a return to growth for probiotics) has helped to keep the largest major category buoyant
  • Lifestyle CHC growth advanced to +5.9%, with eye care — the largest subcategory — returning a mid-single digit increase (+5.4%); this, alongside sustained double-digit increases in sedatives & sleep aids (+13.8%), as well as smaller categories such as emergency hormonal contraception and erectile dysfunction, boosted the topline
  • Gastrointestinals growth improved (+5.2%) with all subcategories once again seeing an upturn over the previous reporting period — a return to some “normalisation of life” (travel, dining out, etc.) has helped the wider category advance
  • Analgesics saw a further improvement overall (+3.6%) boosted by systemics returning to growth (+1.9%) after successive negative results, as well as consistent gains in topical formats (+7.2%)
  • Dermatologicals slowed further to +0.6% (vs +3.9% MAT Q2 21), a trend heavily impacted by the performance of antiseptics & disinfectants — the subcategory now declining by 9.8% following high growth levels seen in the peak of the pandemic
  • Cough, Cold & Allergy remains negative, with sales retracting by 5.3% in the 12 months to end-Sept 21. However, the macro trend continues to improve over the previous reporting periods (-14.5% and -9.7% for MAT Q1 and Q2 respectively) as incidence of typical seasonal pathologies rises vs a low comparator in 2020, with many players reporting improvements in quarterly terms

In terms of geographies:

  • Americas advanced by 2.4% (vs +1.3% MAT Q2 21) – N America now displaying a positive trend with continued improvements in USA & Canada. LatAm markets remain strong, with another double-digit result in Brazil (+12.1%), the most robust of the Top 20 markets
  • Asia held on to mid-level growth (+4.8%) in the reporting period; while the region continues to be impacted by loss of revenue from overseas visitors in key markets Japan (-2.1%) and Australia (-2.9%), steady single-digit increases in China and India helped to maintain the topline
  • Europe’s performance has flattened; Western European markets are improving (-2.0% vs -4.4% MAT Q2 21), impacted by the analgesics growth trend returning to positive, plus a softening decline for CCA over the previous reporting period. CEE markets advanced further, aided by mid-single-digit gains in Poland (+4.8%)

Nicholas Hall commented: Good news! My colleague Kayleigh Griffin-Hooper tells me that the latest DB6 data show that the store retail CHC market continued on a path to recovery in the 12 months to end-September. Broadly speaking, the majority of markets are returning to slightly stronger growth – or softer declines – compared to MAT Q2. Trends remain heavily influenced by the impact of Covid-19 across several healthcare segments – both positively and negatively – resulting in low level advances on a global level.

In three months’ time, when we have sales data for the Internet channel, it will be interesting to see whether this high-growth sector fully balances the softness in store retail sales.

We are pleased to announce that Nicholas Hall’s DB6 MAT Q3 2021 update is now available! Subscribers can access over 150,000 pieces of data, with more than 30,000 records covering 13,000+ brands and 3,000 companies across 63 countries. To find out more, or to set up a free demo, please contact kate.holdcroft@NicholasHall.com.